Department of Special Education

The Collaborative Education Program leads to a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in Collaborative Education with two teacher certification options at the Alabama Class B level: Collaborative (K–6) or Collaborative (K-6 and 6-12). The undergraduate program is a two-year, upper-division program that prepares students to work in special education settings with youth who have a wide range of disabilities. A cohort of students is accepted each fall.

The Early Childhood Special Education program leads to a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in Early Childhood Special Education. Students in the early childhood special education major will learn about the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of young children, with and without special needs, and about the role that families play in their development. Students graduating with this major are eligible to be recommended for Alabama Class B certification to teach children with diverse needs (P-3) as well as Alabama Class B certification in early childhood education (P-3).

The Multiple Abilities Program (MAP) leads to a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in Multiple Abilities. It is an integrated program leading to certification in four areas: collaborative special education (K-6), elementary education (K-6), early childhood (P-3), and early childhood special education (P-3). This program is open to a cohort of 25 full-time students who are selected to complete the 78-semester-hour course sequence over four consecutive semesters and one summer term.

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Professor Nicole Cain Swoszowski, Department Head
Office: 201-B Autherine Lucy Hall

The department offers undergraduate programs requiring the completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours as specified. These programs lead to the bachelor of science in education degree and the Alabama Class B Professional Educator Certificate. Admission is competitive, and meeting stated criteria does not guarantee admission. Rather, applicants who meet stated criteria are guaranteed consideration for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP).


Department Head
  • Nicole Cain Swoszowski
  • Lucy Barnard-Brak
  • Gregory J. Benner
  • Carol A. Donovan
  • Kristine Jolivette
  • Jennifer L. Jolly
  • Sara McDaniel
  • Robert A. McWilliam
  • N. Kagendo Mutua
  • Nicole Cain Swoszowski
Associate Professor
  • Ragan McLeod
Assistant Professor
  • Marissa Filderman
  • Kristen Lamb
  • Courtney O'Grady
Clinical Assistant Professors
  • Elizabeth Michael
  • Catherine Price
  • Kimberly Tomeny
  • Amy Williamson
Clinical Research Assistant Professors
  • Olivia Hester
  • Erica Lee
  • Kimberly Odom
  • Lauren Rollins
  • Sara Sanders
Clinical instructors
  • Lisa Burgess
  • Sharron Maughn



This course is designed as a developmental sequence of integrated themes covering historical foundations of education, educational finance, legal and ethical issues, contemporary issues, and fundamental technology concepts and integrated with MAP 302, MAP 403, MAP 404 and MAP 405.

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Multiple Abilities Program
Except Lives in Society

Introduction and overview for non-education majors regarding characteristics of diversity, exceptionalities, and social/behavioral issues in the 21st century. A service learning project experience, to be arranged outside the Tuscaloosa educational community, that exposes students to diverse populations is included. Through web-based readings/critiques, class lecture, and service learning opportunities, participants in this course will explore diverse populations from within the context of characteristics, issues and trends, cultural differences, and research. Offered fall and spring semesters.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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